*The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has strongly recommended that TV and film productions pause for a several weeks amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the area.
“Although music, TV and film productions are allowed to operate, we ask you to strongly consider pausing work for a few weeks during this catastrophic surge in Covid cases,” the department said in an email, per FilmLA, the county’s film permit office. “Identify and delay higher risk activities, and focus on lower-risk work for now, if at all possible.”
To date, there have been 719,833 confirmed cases of the virus in Los Angeles County and 9,482 deaths.
“A person now dies every 10 minutes in L.A. County from COVID-19.” Health officials in Los Angeles are painting a dire picture of an after-holiday surge of coronavirus cases. https://t.co/W6ikq5qCRN pic.twitter.com/xbbfd0DPeH
— WebMD (@WebMD) December 28, 2020
Here’s more from Complex:
On Monday, L.A. County reported 13,661 new cases and 73 new deaths, a slight increase from 13,580 new cases and 44 new deaths the previous day. Last week, California became the first state to surpass 2 million COVID-19 cases, less than two months after eclipsing the 1 million mark.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an overnight stay-at-home order last month for the 41 counties that fell within the purple tier, which was determined by positivity rate and the number of new cases per 100,000 people. A few days later, the order was extended to limit restaurants, bars, etc. in L.A. County to takeout, drive-thru, and delivery operations for, at least, three weeks.
As reported by Deadline, the health department’s message to FilmLA noted that “hospitals are full virtually everywhere” and encouraged filmmakers to “keep cast and crew close to home.” Officials said “travel for production purposes is currently not advised.”
According to the report, the message also cautions that “the virus can still potentially incubate for up to 14 days, therefore heightened precautions and health monitoring are important.”
Meanwhile, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration head Dr. Scott Gottlieb has warned that January will be a “grim month.”
“Even if we start to see a plateau in cases and a decline in the first week in January, it’s really not going to be [until] toward the end of January that we start to see the burden on hospitals begin to lessen and we start to see deaths plateau,” Gottlieb said on Face the Nation.